Week 8 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


OH HAPPY DAY! Happy Belated Birthday to me! I saw evidence this morning that my dog Skowt finally figured out, after a couple of months, what this 44″x24″ patch of artificial turf is for on the patio! My Twitter and Instagram followers and my Facebook family and friends have seen my lovely video and picture posts of me surrendering to the elements of cold and snow to walk my dog Skowt, despite my health concerns.

Even though it truly was delightful watching him romp in the snow as far as the leash would allow him, the cold was tough on my body and triggered slight fibromyalgia flares. I prayed for wisdom as to how to handle this and to get relief from loving task. Even sent my son a text message yesterday with the intent of asking him to take Skowt to his home for a few days. Instead I stopped at, “Are you at work?” Even with his “leaving now” response, with dismay, I sensed the inner prompting not to ask. Why? You see, that seemed the likely solution because not only are he and his wife dog lovers, foster dog parents and have 2 dogs of their own, they also have a really huge back yard! Does not that seem it could be the answer to my prayer my way?

Twice yesterday when I ventured outside and saw the ice beyond the building overhangs, I uttered prayers again. It was like an inner peace came over me, stronger than the cold I was experiencing. Why? Shortly after we returned to the apartment, my dog was oddly giddy to get out on the patio which he requests a few times a day anyway. But this time seemed different. Why?

My Dog Skowt – Lesson in Obedience

So I let him out. I then began unlayering and praying my muscles and nerves would not wreak with pain. Prayer answered! Not only that, but to my utter amazement, I peacefully slept until almost 10am this morning. Why?That is totally unheard of for me! Well, there was a slight interruption to the slumber state. It was when the 6am text alert message sound came from my phone. OH HAPPY DAY AWAKENING! By the intervention of the Lord and His grace and mercy the text read from my daughter notified me that she made it on a flight, standby status, out of Boston to DFW! That indeed was a miraculous answer to the prayer for which I prayed with her over the phone just before I went to bed at 1:00am.

Oh, by the way…For those who know my priority to be in church on Sunday morning and anytime there is service, no need to fret or travail in heavy intercession that perhaps I have backslidden 🙂 Got notification yesterday afternoon Sunday church services was cancelled due to extreme icy conditions entering and on the church property).

Okay, back to the my original OH HAPPY DAY report….

I scurried immediately out of bed to let my dog out of his crate and then laid back down, grudgingly comtemplating getting all bundled up to take him outside. Again a peace came over me, instead of the conjured up “…count it all joy…” It was like a peace that passed all understanding. Why? My dog, Skowt, came to my bed with noticeable glee in his eyes, as he gently pawed my arm with purpose. Why? Thinking I was going to have to make haste to get layered up for our cold trek outdoors, he instead led me to the patio door. Why? Well, of course, I opened it and let him out. Then I watched him curiously, yet cautiously approach the artificial turf…

OH MY! There it was!!!! The display of reasons for all the “WHY’s”! …why the inner sense prompted me to NOT ask my son to rescue me; why I felt the peace last night as I returned from the walk with Skowt; why Skowt immediately wanted to go out onto the patio shortly after we returned; why there was not even the hint of a fibromyalgia flare last night; why I peacefully slept until almost 10am; why the thought of evoking joy by faith was replaced with that peace that passes all understanding; why the the glee in the eye of Skowt and the gentle pawing… It was all a set up to answered prayer! The way of escape had been prepared as divinely orchestrated in my lesson of obedience about to be taught by my dog Skowt. In reverence to that inner knowing NOT call upon my son to rescue me, a choice was made to trust and obey the inner voice!

There was a joy unspeakable and full of glory dance and shout of praise which erupted from my inner being to override that of the manufactured joy I anticipated having to again put on and wear! You see, my eyes became fixated  on the literal nugget-find of gratitude lying on the turf even when the cold of life happens!

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 7 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


You must hear the totally unexpected blessing that overtook me this morning! Oh My! How awesome is our God! Hang on to tolerance, endurance and patience fruit of the spirit because the nugget of gratitude is in the detail! You know God’s voice could be in the wind, the thunder, the rain, the sunshine or some other element or in a person. AAANNNDDD…answered prayer could come through INTERRUPTIONS, as was my case this morning! It could be all in the attitude by which you handle said pesty and annoying interruptions.

I was on the 30-minute B12Shot Shark Leadership Coaching/Training call, which I listen to M-F at 9am. Take a moment to make a note to self, DO NOT call Miss Rainey between 9&9:30am M-F! Well, a call came in about halfway thru the call. Not desiring to interrupt the training call plus not recognizing the number added up to ignore the call and listen to voicemail later. Shortly following that would be interruption, the next number on my CallerID was that of someone at the gate requesting entrance. So the perfect combination of again not desiring to interrupt the training call plus not expecting anyone at that hour of the morning added up to ignore. Then a couple of minutes later, someone was literally banging on my door which naturally startled me! A look through the security peep whole was obviously a technician, but why and who! The response to my, “Who Is It” was, “AT&T here for an install or something.” Fortunately not only is the training call available on replay, but I record each call with my trusty nifty Livescribe smartpen. But my thing is I want to hear it LIVE..NO INTERRUPTIONS!

I slightly opened the door to better hear why he was here. The confusion in his voice and in his countenance and total body language was apparent that he had NO IDEA for what reason or why he was dispatched here. He could make no natural sense of this mystery repair/install ticket he received.

I tell you, I have seen plenty of service technicians in my over 6 decades of life, but not ever one as perplexed and disoriented as he was. When I released and redirected my divided attention away from the interruption to singly focus on the matter at hand, that was when a tech support call I made 3 weeks or more weeks ago came to mind. I recanted that call to the technician and told him I adamantly chose not to create a service ticket because of the enormous cost just for someone to come out. It was at that moment when I saw his face relax, all angst disappeared and he uttered the following words to me that a realization hit me!

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Oh! Another pertinent detail that transpired this morning between the Lord and Me. I had even pulled an item of furniture from the wall to try to gain access Continue reading

Week 6 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


My gratitude nugget find today is in the person for whom this day is set aside to in commemorate and remember the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While his life was cut short, his legacy shall never die…lives on forever. Because Dr. King not only had a dream of freedom for all, but actively set in motion the realization of freedom through peaceful non-violent history-making movements. Both of my children excelled in high school academically and socially, achieving several honors and awards. As a result of Dr. King’s efforts, my daughter dreams big for her life’s goals in public interests. She achieved multiple university degrees with her sights now set on commencing her law degree in Fall 2015. She worked as Victim’s Assistant Specialist for a police department for several years and is now the Academic Counselor for a major charter school. My son achieved a college degree and is joyously married to a gorgeous woman of a different nationality. He is the Operational Director for a notable audio/visual technology company at a renowned hotel. In my over 6 decades of life, I have witnessed changes and experienced freedoms that are a direct result of Dr. King’s efforts.

The life we now live is not without challenge, but filled with a whole lot of promise for even greater strides ahead. So I say thank you to Almighty God, first of all, and then to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Because of these two beings, there is no limit as to what I can dream and achieve in my endeavors to reach out and give hope to others.

I close with this quote from Dr. King’s, “Loving Your Enemies Speech”, Nov. 7, 1957 — “The reason I can’t follow the old eye-for-an-eye philosophy is that it ends up leaving everyone blind.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Inspirations and Quotes

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 5 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


Some have patiently awaited for the promised informational update on the story behind the pictures below that I also posted on FaceBook.

Well, here goes…

Excitement was in my step as I headed downstairs of my new residence to the bi-monthly Variety Show of karaoke, poetry, story telling, laughs and simply a whole lot of senior adult fun and fellowship. However, this time it was accompanied by a yummy spaghetti dinner.

I arrived about 7 minutes late and was met with a totally unexpected inquiry. “Do you have a tape player?” Hmmm…did she mean CD player but was calling it a tape player or did she mean cassette player? In asking to get clarity, sure enough it was a cassette player that she needed. My mind quickly raced to that Big Bin of electronics sitting out on the patio, which my son had tried to get me to discard, had one in it. So I politely stated I was not sure if I had a portable one or not, but that I did have a stereo system with one and that I would need something to carry it on if I did go get it. Her mouth said, “Oh that is okay, you do not have to bother.” But those eyes spoke with a different agenda without being able to even utter a word. Since the program was about to get underway, I was not sure if I should follow the directive of her eyes and politely excuse myself or just sit there. The sitting became uncomfortable because those eyes were peering loudly.

Up from the table I arose to make a bee-line up the elevator to my new abode! In my frantic search in the Big Bin, there was no portable cassette player. I could hear her voice in my ear, “I just want everyone to hear this song that I told them about at the last Variety Show.” So I retrieved the dolly from the outside storage area, which my son had also asked me to part with. I loaded the small stereo and speakers, which guess what? Yes, my son indeed had also attempted to persuade me to get rid of. Oh, but how happy I was that I did not listen to my son! I rolled it all out of my apartment, down the hallway, to the elevator and parked it outside the meeting room door, so as not to create a disturbance. My, my, my, did her eyes ever light up when I whispered I brought my stereo system downstairs! What joy churned in me to see her so happy. Excitement and satisfaction were in my step as I went forward to set up my equipment and observed many of the gazing eyes of glee upon me in anticipation of an added element of enjoyment would complete this precious time.

So my gratitude broke forth in being able to replace that forlorn demeanor with nuggets of sheer delight as she would be able to keep her promise to the group to play the song that meant so much to her. Whew, sure am glad I did not listen to my son to part ways with what he deemed bordered hoarding! Not saying he was wrong. You see, my question to my readers now is, “Do any of you have need of any old electronic device of any type?” I am really pretty stockpiled with old computers, cd players, VHS rewinder, cameras, dvd players, RCA chords, adapters, etc.

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Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 4 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


The gratitude nugget I discovered is a grateful heart for those ‘angel’ friends in my life. In being reminded that nothing is impossible for God, it appears He places the presence of folk such as this to serve as that life support to assist in overcoming seemingly impossibilities of any nature. Ofttimes, a compassionate heart just needs to collide with circumstances that seem cruel and harsh through a listening ear to bring calm to the raging sea of emotions. Get ready! Someone is waiting for you to be that “peace be still” angel friend of an opened heart and a fined tuned ear.

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 3 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


Who of you would care to admit that your morning revolved around a 1-hour window of “The Price Is Right” with Bob Barker? Oo-Oo! Pick me!

For many many years, until a few years ago, family, close friends and coworkers knew not to even think about disturbing me between 10am and 11am CST because I had a daily date with Bob Barker and “The Price Is Right”. That everyday 1-hour dose of games, fun, laughter, price guessing and happiness supplied me with joy and an escape from the cares of the world and the day. Whether school or work, schedules were created around that time slot. Perhaps sounds like a strange addiction, but I choose to believe it was a block of time that was committed to self to simply diffuse and enjoy. It is a perfectly legitimate for you to question the pertinence of that information as it pertains to gratitude.

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Well, I was out walking my dog this the very next day after my blog post introducing you to my dog Skowt. My allegiance was challenged! Be it known that those days of dedicated engagement with“The Price Is Right” dwindled to an occasional tuning in after the change of hosts. So you see, the game show was not the conflict this time. The new contention of no interruptions became the 9am-9:30am 30-minute window. That is a committed time to self for personal growth and development from a respected mentor and business partner in coaching and training. So you are probably wondering where is this rabbit trail leading to and how does my dog fit into all of this.

In the ongoing reworking and re-prioritizing my day to include walking Skowt, I got a little later start than needed which meant the journey outside was going to be cut short. In doing my very best to avoid other dog walkers from the complex by keeping a sharp eagle eye, I did an immediate about face at the sight of a couple of dogs and their owners at the pet park. Headed back on my merry way to my apartment, I thought I heard my name being called. But how could that be when i am relatively new here. I glanced back but saw no one. Sure enough when I realized after hearing my name three times, I turned to see who was beckoning me. You may recall my post yesterday mentioned Skowt attracting attention because of his beauty. Well, it was one of those folk ecstatically waving her arms to get my attention and excitedly coming toward me. A quick look at my watch revealed time was quickly approaching for the call.

That sweet little lady invited me to join them in the pet park for Skowt to interact with and get to know the other dogs and them him. As much as that invitation temptingly touched me, I thanked her and graciously declined. You see I explained that I have a commitment to a conference call that is going to start in a few minutes. Whether she understood that degree of diligence to a call, it did not matter to me. Why?

You see, it was an aha moment of gratitude that my loyalty to self was such that I would protect that 30-minute window just like I did with“The Price Is Right”. Those information-packed 30 minutes bring value, joy and increased knowledge which serve to hone my skills in giving hope to others. My question to you now is, do you have a dedicated window of time for yourself that will result in a better you for others?

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Oh, by the way, how many of you will admit that you still do occasional indulge in a little “The Price Is Right” escape. Oo-Oo! Pick me!

Week 2 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


At the end of this day, my gratitude emerges in the midst of or despite the record-setting cold North Central Texas temperatures. Fibromyalgia and cold just do not gel no how, no way in this body! As eluded to in the post of yesterday, my recent move from a home with a rather large backyard to an apartment with a 5’x10′ patio poses a real challenge after being reunited with my very loving Border Collie/Cocker Spaniel mix dog. No more simply opening the door to let him take care of business as he frolics in the yard. The choice to walk him at my leisure has been eliminated, as he requests an early morning, midday and late night stroll at the minimum.

So this morning magically transformed into re-prioritizing this day as well as for those subsequent frigid ones ahead. Necessary kickstart decisions were made: 1) snap to it; 2) move from a place of dread; and 3) get on up out of my warm cozy bed…all with the mindset of loving the family pet whose name is Skowt. Now while the extra time in extreme bundling up from head to toe to brave the abnormal wintry chill is transpiring, a smile came to my face each time as Skowt’s ears perked up and his tail wagged in anxious anticipation of the pending roaming to the great outdoors. He just was not phased by my very obvious apprehension, nor the shivery of his human.

The gratitude came in the joy Skowt exuded each time we journeyed beyond our four walls. And then the totally unexpected comments complimenting his beauty I experience in the attention he attracted from other dog lovers strolling their pets on the complex property cracked a smile on this ‘cold’ face. Despite my objection to shivering and hesitance at braving the elements, that early morning decision to deny self actually effected an increased sphere of influence. So electrify your ambit, bounds of impact, in a realization that Fibromyalgia and cold can gel in a release of denial to self with a resolve to a grateful heart.

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Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 1 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


Oh no, the clock is about to strike midnight and you have not seen my nugget of gratitude for today. So I am taking this quick moment to let you know that I am grateful for the manifested constraining power of the Lord to keep me calm when life was happening all around me with stimulus overload. On my Day 13 of gratitude, I shall share the changes in my environment which created a firestorm of reorganization and prioritizing. But for now, let me just say that gratitude runs deep for my two kiddos and my daughter-in-love for helping me to get settled in my new home while they watched my dog Skowt. He is reunited with me!

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens 52-Week Journey


On this eve of 2015, I am gratefully reflective upon 2014 as it appears the Lord is going grant me entrance into this brand new year. 2014 presented opportunities to laugh or cry, engage or disengage, shout or whisper, lean in or lean out, blush in embarrassment or accolades, complain or rejoice, tear down or build up self and others, speak life or destruction, organize or disarrange, express sympathy or congratulations, obey or rebel, go under or up, compose or merge, parent well or with inconsistency, be defeated or conquer, succeed or try again, personally develop or remain status quo, be content or dissatisfied, survive or thrive, encourage or intimidate, forgive or live imprisoned, idolize or covet…

In looking at the moments of gratefulness, would there be a conviction for actively engaging? Or would freedom be granted for lack of evidence?

Well, it is my endeavor for 2015 to daily present nuggets of gratitude finds whether life happens favorably or unfavorably. It is my desire to ignite a firestorm of folks excitedly jumping on to form an unending conga line dance of gratitude. I want there to be enough proof of gratefulness, that a lifetime sentence of a grateful heart is imposed with no chance of early release or parole.

Check back soon for my first nugget of gratitude find when life happens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE0W-kQyz6A

Expressions Reserved for Grandmothers of Stillborns


I truly need to hear from you!

So here it is, one month and one day later…

May I please have the attention of family, friends, community and church associates, followers of WordPress, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, acquaintances and everyone else reading this? This is especially to grandmothers of stillborn grandbabies?

From those wonderfully joy-filled New Year’s Eve moments that my son and daughter-n-love chose this clever way to announce to me that I am going to be a 1st-time grandma to the heart-wrenching devastation of the March 7th stillborn birth announcement of that first grandchild, Harper James Matthews…where time seemed to stand still…

Clever way to announce to me that I am going to be a grandma!
Clever way to announce to me that I am going to be a grandma!

A question to #grandmothers of stillborn grandchildren…

Please tell me when will I be able to again look at a #newborn or pictures of newborns without being flooded with tears? I am mother who had and grieved 2 late term 1st trimester #miscarriages of Kelsey and Gerard after my son Aaron was born. Now that same son and his wife gave birth to Harper James Matthews, who instantly joined his cousins and other relatives in heaven. A tearful “whoa” that this means my first #grandbaby was born straight into the arms of Jesus. I hurt deeply for my grieving son Aaron and his beyond-heartsick wife Kelly the very moment my son shared with me their baby had no heartbeat at 16/17 weeks. It immediately became my utmost desire, as a mom in the midst of my own roller coasteering whacked-out downtrodden state, to walk thru with strength to compassionately support them.

The Lord revealed to me a couple of weeks ago during a triple baby dedication service at my church, as I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, that I had now entered the phase of grieving as a grandmother. He also showed me that I He is now supernaturally enlightening the eyes of my understanding as it pertains to parents who give birth to #stillborns. And to that, thus be better ‘insighted’ into the pain of my son and daughter-n-love.

Whew, not sure how I feel about that, Lord! However, I do know that I did ask You Lord to show me how I can best be a support to Aaron and Kelly. I just never anticipated the route of the pain of a grandmother’s grief. BUT Your ways are truly higher than our ways and your thoughts higher than those of ours. I know YOUR word will not return void. I know that YOUR word will accomplish that which it has been sent to do. So I MUST TRUST YOU LORD, as I moment-by-moment choose to lean strong and hard into You in absolute surrender.

While my Lord is teaching me to grieve as a grandmother of this precious grandchild who went straight into the arms of Jesus, I would love to hear stories from grandmothers of stillborns of your personal grief journey to that joy that comes in the ‘mourning’. I know the scriptures. I now need to hear your stories either on my fb wall or inbox, email or at my http://givingyouhope.org/ blog where I shall create a post for your stories.

So grandmothers of stillborns and my Lord, I also ask…

When will I be able to again look at a newborn or pictures of newborns without being flooded with tears?